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Old 12-20-2018, 12:58 AM   #1
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Steering box rebuild or buy another?

For what it's worth I'm rebuilding a truck to factory, within reason anyway.

My steering box looks great, but it needs to be rebuilt. Shipping is expensive, so I'm wondering, what you guys recommend for a steering box? If you figure I should rebuild what I got, do you have any suggestions where to send it?

Thanks
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:32 AM   #2
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I've rebuilt at least a 100 boxes so I always vote to rebuild my own. The kit is only $30-$35.

A beam or dial torque wrench is needed and the correct procedures are in the service manual (overhaul).
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

If you still have a 4.5 turn box, I would be looking at a 3.5 turn one.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Originally Posted by rpmerf View Post
If you still have a 4.5 turn box, I would be looking at a 3.5 turn one.
I would want faster more modern steering and is what I will do on my own truck whenever it needs any steering work. So my vote is to upgrade to the variable ratio box.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Get a box from a 78 c10
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I can have my existing one rebuilt locally for $250. I can buy a re manufactured one for $130. Not sure having it done locally is worth the extra money.

You can get them from Summit with no shipping fees.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

If you want 100% original then rebuilt it. These trucks never drove badly when new. If you'd like to upgrade to newer design, the newer box will not really show as non-original except to an expert with their head stuck in your fender well or lying under your truck.

I have a funny situation where N.O.S. doesn't mean more valuable, at least to most. Years and years (decades) ago I had my GM dealer get me a new steering box for a '71 K/20 that had excessive slop. They listed for about $350-375 and I got a 30% discount, so still a couple hundred plus. I decided to part a Blazer I had so just used that steering box and left the new one on the shelf. Fast forward to about '07 and I discovered my '72 K2500 had wiggle at the sector shaft/pitman arm. I pull the N.O.S. box out, paint it, get the pitman arm I also bought back then, and OOPs! The parts guy had ordered me a 2wd box! I have my '67 project, but that sits on a completely rebuilt rolling chassis including steering box. With rebuilt units and upgrades readily available and the part not an appearance item I don't see it selling for even what retail was in the '80s. I'd be lucky to get what I paid at -30%. So I'm just hanging on to it for the future. My '67 project is performance oriented so I'll probably end up with a quicker steer box anyway.
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Are the Redheads any good?
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Are the Redheads any good?
Only heard good things about them, sent my car's variable ratio box there. Haven't driven it yet though!

If I had to do it over again and wasn't so concerned with stock, I'd be looking at the new Saginaw 500 or 600 boxes (I think that's the number). I put one in my '69 Camaro, and it's a world of difference. You need metric adapters for the lines, but otherwise not rocket science.

It's basically the same box as early 2000s Tahoes, if I understand correctly.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:08 PM   #10
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Are the Redheads any good?
Mine sucks.they've told me to adjust it 3 times now and still way to tight.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Mine sucks.they've told me to adjust it 3 times now and still way to tight.
Ok thx for feedback. Are there better options?
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:11 PM   #12
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Thanks for the information. I don't know if my original box is 3.1 or 4.1. If that's a ratio I don't see a close reference. I can say the steering box I have was discontinued in 1984.

Nobody in the area rebuilds these. Redhead will rebuild it for $300 plus a $150 core charge. Add shipping both ways it's over $400. So heck with it, I'm buying new or re-manufactured. So I'm looking at:

Upgrade: This might be the 500 Dave spoke of: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/c.../submodel/base

Re-manufactured:
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a.../submodel/base

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a.../submodel/base

Another option: http://www.powersteering.com/

On a side, Redhead will send a replacement, but costs the same. I guess they figure their rebuilds are better than Cardone's and ACDelco's


I thought the cost would be more regardless. When I first bought my truck in 89 I was quoted $500 for just the box. So I let it leak over the next 25 years or so, and yeah, it was a little sloppy.
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71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402/400TH, A/C...Resource intensive......And (*^(*^ leaf springs. Speak of, looking for OEM rear sport bumper brackets for this ride. They're unlike those more common, even the outer brackets are different.

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402/400TH, A/C. Driver and tinker truck

Last edited by 71CHEVYSHORTBED402; 12-20-2018 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:25 AM   #13
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

There is a local shop in Denver (cars power steering) that rebuilds them for $150. I just bought one with the 3 1/2 quick ratio to put in my build but also having them rebuild a gear box to stock specifications and an oe pump. We will see after this weekend how the gear box works out but I've only heard good things about them.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:40 PM   #14
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I've had horrible luck with re-manufactured boxes. One car I was rebuilding took me finally taking the original box to a local shop to be rebuilt after installing 3 re-manufactured ones. It was about as frustrating experience as possible, because unless you have a lift, it's a total pain (in most vehicles) to remove/reinstall.

I'll only have mine rebuilt from now on as I have a reputable shop and I know I'll only have to remove/reinstall once.
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:21 PM   #15
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Give these guys a call. They have been around a long time and did a good job on my AD box years ago.

https://www.larescorp.com
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:56 PM   #16
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Rebuild it. Redhead did a good job on mine and with quick turn around. I shipped them the box in a USPS flat rate box.
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:15 PM   #17
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSH2.0 View Post
Ok thx for feedback. Are there better options?
That is actually the very first time Ive ever heard of someone having a problem with redhead boxes. Ive personally had two with zero problems.
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Old 12-22-2018, 05:55 PM   #18
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Sub'd.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:34 PM   #19
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I rebuild my own it’s not that difficult to do. Source the right kit based on the numbers on the box vs the make and model though.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:41 AM   #20
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Give these guys a call. They have been around a long time and did a good job on my AD box years ago.

https://www.larescorp.com
I have a Lares 3 turn box in my truck. Wasn't cheap, but I am happy with it. It isn't variable ratio, so it is a little twitchy in the middle. A world of difference from the old 4 turn box.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:32 AM   #21
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

Some more info .

http://www.powersteering.com/testimonials/
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:45 PM   #22
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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Well, you guys managed to confuse the heck out of me with options. Kidding, thanks for the responses. At the moment I'm on board with rebuilding the old one and the pump too, through the group per Grump's link with their "show" build. Haven't called them yet, but I'm guessing another $600 for the money pit.
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71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402/400TH, A/C...Resource intensive......And (*^(*^ leaf springs. Speak of, looking for OEM rear sport bumper brackets for this ride. They're unlike those more common, even the outer brackets are different.

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402/400TH, A/C. Driver and tinker truck
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:16 PM   #23
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I will make it simple.

Get a Cardone unit with a lifetime warranty. Last one went over 10 years before it started leaking.

Got a replacement for nothing last September. For the 130 bucks I spent 13 years ago I cant beat that with a big stick. I put over 120k on it before getting a replacement. Daily Driver.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:06 AM   #24
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

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I've had these people build some boxes for me if I need one restored and because they are just up the road. They will do a rebuild or restoration for extra $.

For our trucks I go to O'reilly and order one for a 1979. It's 3 1/2 turns post to post, costs $136.99 and I haven't had a problem yet. I've done 5 of them and have one on the shelf. I usually have to change the rag joint but you probably should every time anyway.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:31 PM   #25
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Re: Steering box rebuild or buy another?

I ended up going through Powersteering.com. Marty is not cheap, believe me, but nice work. He rebuilt the box to 16:13:1...........I guess that's good I think he said it was 3:1. Be a good day when these are primed:
Attached Images
  
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71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402/400TH, A/C...Resource intensive......And (*^(*^ leaf springs. Speak of, looking for OEM rear sport bumper brackets for this ride. They're unlike those more common, even the outer brackets are different.

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402/400TH, A/C. Driver and tinker truck
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